CU Hears Address by Alum David Cozart on MLK

Feb. 3, 2010

For Immediate Release

Campbellsville University Hears Address by David Cozart on Martin Luther King Jr.

By Drew Tucker, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – David Cozart, a 1994 Campbellsville University graduate who serves as administration of development with the Urban League at Lexington-Fayette County in Lexington, said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left the crowd in order to succeed.

            “Sometimes you have to leave the crowd and look back at the crowd,” Cozart said at CU’s chapel recently.  “Sometimes you have to leave the crowd to progress.”

            He explained that students coming to chapel, going to church, and even going to school somewhere else are students leaving the crowd and climbing a tree.

            “You also have to lead the crowd,” he said, “you got to make a vertical move to distinguish yourself.”

            “Martin Luther King left the crowd and led the crowd,” he said, “He put his life on the line for the cause.”

            Cozart said that you must also love the crowd, just like Zacchaeus did when he gave back to them.

            “Dr. King put himself above the crowd,” he said, “but also loved the crowd and put himself at the same level where he inevitably lost his life.”

            Cozart used Luke 19:1-10 as the text for his address. This story is about a man named Zacchaeus, who is a tax collector, who usually makes people pay more than what they owe.

            One day Jesus came to town. Everyone crowded around Jesus wanting to see him.  Zacchaeus was short and could not see him, so he climbed a tree instead. Jesus then asked him to come down and told him he was staying at Zacchaeus’ house. People grumbled that he was a sinner, and Zacchaeus told Jesus that he would give half of his goods to the poor, and he had stolen from anyone, he would pay them back fourfold.

            “Jesus went up to the hill, up on the cross, and looked to the crowd, and loved them still,” Cozart said.  “He said ‘Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.’”

            Cozart said that you have to love the crowd, and you have to serve the crowd.  Jesus did this, and Martin Luther King did this.  They both stood for something greater than themselves, and ended up dying for their causes.

            “This is how you too can be transformed,” Cozart said.

            Wanting to share with the students who he was, he listed things he was not. “I am not an honor graduate. I am not a natural historian of Dr. Martin Luther King. I am not accomplished financially.”

            He then explained what he is: a former student of Campbellsville University who attended chapel, lived in a dorm and played football.

            “God can do anything,” he said.


            The gift was given in memory of the late Margaret Buckner Young, a Campbellsville native and widow of the late civil rights leader Dr. Whitney Young. Mrs. Young died in December 2009.

            Greater Campbellsville United promotes equal opportunity, equity, and positive relationships among all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, religious, gender and political entities in this community and throughout the region.

            Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of CU, and Perry Thomas, head football coach, shared experiences pertaining to King.

            He shared a story from his childhood about riding in his car with his father. He noticed a store called “The White Pantry” which was open only to white people. As they drove by, Carter noticed a race demonstration was going on outside of the store.

            Carter asked his father why everyone was against each other, and his father replied simply: “This is a sad day.”

            He told students to pick up a book written by Dr. Martin Luther King titled “Stride Toward Freedom” and explained that no one should graduate from CU without having read it.

            Carter quoted the beginning of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and said, “Work has been done but still needs to continue.”

            Thomas, who became head football coach for Campbellsville University in January 2008, explained that when he was a young man, there was one African-American football coach in Kentucky at one African-American college, and now there are five African-American football coaches in Kentucky at state universities, and he is thankful to King.

            “The gap is closing,” he said, “We are all touched by the legacy of Dr. King.”

            Students were also asked to donate peanut butter for the earthquake victims in Haiti.

            Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 3,006 students who represent 97 Kentucky counties, 30 states and 37 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South, tied for fifth in “most international students” and fourth in “up-and-coming” schools in baccalaureate colleges in the South. CU has been ranked 17 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® and to G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his 11th year as president.


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